A group of Bingham McCutchen energy and project finance lawyers has decamped to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in New York. Led by partners TARA HIGGINS, TORSTEN MARSHALL, and RAFAEL GALVAN, the team also includes four associates and one staff member.

Higgins, formerly the cochair of Bingham’s energy and project finance group, said in an interview that the move was driven by a desire to work at a firm that places a priority on energy-related matters. At Orrick, she says, it is one of five main business units, while at Bingham she says she felt like she worked at a boutique within the firm.

She says her group has a longtime relationship with Orrick partner Mark Weitzel in San Francisco, who called them regularly for years to try to lure them over. Until recently, she and her colleagues rejected his offers, as well as those from other firms. “I wish I was this popular in high school,” Higgins says. The team became acquainted with Orrick’s New York energy lawyers early last year when Bingham and Orrick worked on a deal that saw then-Bingham clients GE Energy Financial Services and JPMorgan invest $225 million in the Capricorn Ridge wind energy project in Texas, whose majority owner is Orrick client NextEra Energy Resources.

The group’s other clients include the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Atlantic Power Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Energy, according to a Tuesday release announcing their move.

Higgins and Marshall arrived at Bingham 13 years ago from McDermott Will & Emery; Galvan joined them about five years ago from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. A Bingham spokesman said the firm wishes the group well.

Tuesday also brought word that two Bingham two tax lawyers, GARY HUFFMAN and JOE GARCIA JR., have left for Vinson & Elkins in Washington, D.C. Huffman advises multinational corporations, including banks and oil and gas companies, on tax issues. The two lawyers also specialize in partnership taxation. 

In other Churn news . . .


Arnold & Porter has gained C. SCOTT LENT as counsel in its litigation and antitrust practices. Based in New York, Lent previously worked as counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. His practice focuses on the media and entertainment, telecommunications, building materials, and health care industries. He also practices sports law.

DANIEL GOELZER, a former general counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission and founding board member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, is once again a partner at Baker & McKenzie. Goelzer, who will advise in the corporate, securities, and banking compliance practices, worked at the firm from 1990 to 2002. At that point, the SEC appointed him to help found the PCAOB, where he worked until March 2012.

In Newark, DAVID SUSSMAN has jumped from Day Pitney, where he cochaired the firm’s private equity and investment funds practice, to Duane Morris. Joining his new firm as a partner, Sussman focuses on private equity transactions and other corporate work.

Morris, Manning & Martin’s Atlanta office has hired ANTHONY BOGGS as a partner in its tax practice, specializing in federal transaction-based tax advice and tax planning. Boggs most recently worked at Bryan Cave as a partner.

Dickstein Shapiro has lost intellectual property lawyer CINDY YANG to Schiff Hardin. Joining as a partner in New York, Yang has a wide-ranging IP practice that encompasses patent work, trademark and copyright litigation, and U.S. and foreign patent prosecution.

The New York office of Drinker Biddle & Reath has expanded with the hire of HEATH ROSENBLAT as counsel. Rosenblat, most recently counsel at King & Spalding, is a restructuring lawyer. He also teaches bankruptcy law at St. John’s University School of Law.

Real estate lawyer NICHOLAS HOFFMAN has left the in-house life to join Haynes and Boone as of counsel in New York. Hoffman was previously the chief legal officer of Ruben Companies, where he worked on the repositioning and development of office and residential properties in New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston.

Labor and employment firm Littler Mendelson has added MONICA QUINN as a shareholder in downtown Los Angeles. Previously with Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis, Quinn handles litigation and counseling-related employment matters including wrongful termination, discrimination, and harassment cases.

Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg in Chicago has expanded its partnership with the hire of JONATHAN QUINN. A trial lawyer previously with Reed Smith, Quinn takes on antitrust, commercial, class action, and securities cases, among others.

ROBERT MESSERLY and DEREK NEATHERY have left SNR Denton’s Chicago office to join Quarles & Brady, both as partners. The pair practice real estate law.

LUIS FORTUNO, who until January 2 served as governor of Puerto Rico, has joined the Washington, D.C., office of Steptoe & Johnson as a partner. During his four years in office, Fortuño carried out the largest tax cut in the U.S. territory’s history and slashed government spending, according to sibling publication The Blog of Legal Times. Earlier in his career, Fortuño worked as a lawyer in private practice at boutique Puerto Rican firms. He joins Steptoe’s government affairs and public policy group as well as the corporate, securities, and finance practice.

The Churn is compiled from law firm releases and announcements. Moves based on our own reporting will note this. Please send all announcements and news releases to thechurn@alm.com.